It looks like the Grinch's holiday heist might have to wait...
Originally set for a November 10, 2017 release, Universal and Illumination have shockingly pushed the studio's adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic back to November 9, 2018. This comes right on the heels of yesterday's Universal announcement, concerning three untitled "event" pictures and what kind of progress is being made on the once seemingly-dead Pacific Rim 2.
The first look image has been out for a little while now, so the movie must be in some form of physical production. Or maybe not. Anyways, I think this delay has more to do with something else than the studio wanting to get the story right in the right place.
You probably already know what I think the real reason is...
Comcast's acquiring them at the end of the year, we all know that. Some films that are - as of now - set to be released by 20th Century Fox might be siphoned by Universal. Fox's distribution deal with DreamWorks was supposed to end in summer 2018 with How To Train Your Dragon 3, but little things keep convincing me that a good chunk of the remaining DreamWorks features in that pact are going to the globe when all is said and done.
If that isn't the case, then Fox should move right into the vacant 11/10/2017 spot with The Croods 2. Releasing it so close to Star Wars Episode VIII really isn't a bright idea, and I think they know this because Fox and DreamWorks did push Kung Fu Panda 3 away from The Force Awakens. Like Panda 3, Croods 2 had that spot long before Disney stuck Star Wars in it. Also, not every sequel is foolproof, even ones to films that did quite well. Heck, Kung Fu Panda 3 didn't open all that well but still made enough to satisfy DreamWorks and panicky analysts.
Anyways, The Croods 2 ought to move right in. Or maybe Pixar will take advantage and put Coco there, if they don't want to release it in October where it - quite frankly - should be released.
That all being said, I'm still convinced that Universal is little by little snatching up the remaining Fox-DreamWorks films, the same way Disney - hot off of buying Marvel in 2009 - scooped up the last two Marvel movies (The Avengers and Iron Man 3) that Paramount was set to distribute. It's like a little-by-little process, each Jenga brick is being pulled out...
The clues so far...
- Deadline's reports of the early 2018 release Larrikins being expected to be shifted from Fox to Universal.
- The deal finalizing at the end of this year, and the relative hush-hushness on 2017 releases like The Boss Baby and Captain Underpants.
- Fox slating one of their X-Men movies to open the same day as How To Train Your Dragon 3's tentative release date - 6/29/2018.
And now this...
Anyways, this move is also interesting because 2017 was supposed to be a repeat of this year for Illumination. This year is the first year Illumination will release two films in the same calendar year, next month's The Secret Life of Pets and the holiday release Sing. The Grinch was supposed to share 2017 with Despicable Me 3 (opening 6/30/2017).
Probably for the better, but again... I think something's brewing, and it has to do with the boy on the moon.
What say you?